By Chris Johnson


PECATONICA – By State Statute, the Pecatonica School Board of Education, following their monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 23, post their annual fiscal year tax levy, with a request for funds for future operation. The legal step assures the 14-day “public prior notice” has been achieved.

The step must be taken by the School Board to assure there will be money to work with next year; money to pay the bills. Funding must be present to be able to cover the expected draw from the cost of the education process.

The funds must also be adequate to be able to cover costs for operations and maintenance, transportation, capital development and improvement, fire prevention, safety, energy conservation and school security, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, health insurance, Social Security and many other categories.

An increase can be received, without public approval, if the extent of the increase does not rise above a specific percentage of the previous amount received.

If more is needed, according to various web based information sites, such as an amount exceeding 3.5 percent, a referendum may have to be approved by voters.

It’s a balancing act at times, as has been explained by Pecatonica School District Superintendent Bill Faller, during a previous interview.

The School District cannot carry a cash heavy account, with thousands, tens-of-thousands or even hundreds-of-thousands of dollars stashed for too many “rainy days”, since it carries government non-profit status.

The School District can also not allow itself to be in a position where the amount of funds for operation are not available, as a result of a miscalculation or underestimation.

The citizens’ input, in helping determine how much money will be required to educate the students of the district, is being requested.

The next step, following the announcement for the request for funds, will be the allowance of public review and input, with an open Public Hearing, as mandated, being scheduled, prior to the Board’s expected approval, during their Monday, Dec. 21 regular meeting.

At this time, the date and time of the upcoming public hearing is not known.

In the past, District 321 Board Members have held their public input sessions, prior to the start of the regular monthly Monday meetings, which begin at 7 p.m.

If a resident has questions on the information presented by District 321 Officials, they could contact the District Office.

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